Bhupathi hits out, asks ITF to be consistent
Mahesh Bhupathi fired a verbal volley at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) asking it to be more consistent. Read more...Updated: Aug 08, 2008 00:27 IST
The old firm of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi revved up here, beginning their hunt for that elusive Olympic doubles medal. Paes even joked about a sixth Olympics but Bhupathi fired a verbal volley at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) asking it to be more consistent.
Unlike at doubles tournaments, players can be seeded here according to their individual or team rankings. “It’s the first time I’ve seen this happen. I don’t know what the agenda with the ITF is but I think it’s pretty unfortunate that they are doing that,” he said.
Paes seemed more taken in by the occasion. “It’s a great feeling to be playing my fifth Olympics. I am already anxious about the opening ceremony. I feel a whole lot younger. My coach Rick Leach has done a tremendous job with me and I am feeling fit. If I carry on like this who knows, maybe I will play my sixth Olympics next year.
“Having won the bronze in the singles event in Atlanta I would love to win a medal in doubles here. It was sad that we missed out on a medal in Sydney and Athens. The latter was particularly heartbreaking as after being two matchpoints up we couldn’t finish the match.
“The doubles competition here will be quite tough as well. There are dangerous floaters in the competition and you never know what hit you when you lose suddenly,” Paes said.
Bhupathi too said the draw was tough for them. “But like in the circuit every match is tough and crucial at this level.” About their chances of winning, Bhupathi said: “People may say whatever they can but Leander and I are still good enough to play matches.”